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Статья директора Центра ЕС-Россия Фрейзера Камерона в International Herald Tribune

11 Фев 2010
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fraser-cameronСтатья директора Центра ЕС-Россия Фрейзера Камерона в International Herald Tribune

Перевод статьи Фрейзера Камерона в International Herald Tribune на русский язык

Директор Центра ЕС-Россия Фрейзер Камерон комментирует новую книгу Рональда Д. Азмуса

11 Фев 2010
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Ronald_Asmus_bookThere may be a little exaggeration in the title but Ron Asmus has provided a fascinating account of the August 2008 conflict between Georgia and Russia. If there is one weakness in the book, it is that Asmus relies rather too heavily on Georgian and US sources. There is some mention of the EU when it comes to the ceasefire, but remarkably little on the role of Peter Semneby, the EU’s special representative for the region. The biggest weakness is the complete absence of Russian sources. Asmus explains that he did try to contact Russians but there was a marked reluctance to speak to him. This may be because the author was already seen as too pro-Georgian in Russian eyes. Certainly Asmus does not try and hide his involvement in Georgia and his meetings with President Saakashvili. This is what gives the book much of its flavour. But it is still disappointing that no Russians were persuaded to give their side of the story.

The thrust of Asmus’ argument is that the August 2008 conflict was not so much about South Ossietia, as about Russia drawing a red line in the sand against any further NATO enlargement. He does not seek to exculpate Saakashvili for his fateful decision on 7 August but he seeks to explain the rationale for it. After months of provocation, the president believed that Russian forces were entering his country and that he had no choice but to fight. But as Asmus notes, the bottom line is simple: ‘Georgia walked into a war that it was not prepared for and could not win.’

Perhaps of more interest to EU readers is why this ‘frozen conflict’ suddenly burst into flames. Many diplomats and experts had sounded warning bells – why did no one listen to them? Asmus puts forward a number of arguments, from the dangerous precedent of Kosovo, to the lack of attention in Washington. George W Bush was already a lame duck president and his determination to push for Georgian and Ukrainian membership of NATO at the Bucharest summit was a catastrophic mistake. The EU, in the shape of President Sarkozy, stepped in to broker a ceasefire; but the six-point plan was not adhered to by Moscow and the EU did little about it.

Asmus believes that the war could have been prevented if there had been greater Western support for Georgia and more neutral peacekeepers on the ground. This judgement must be open to question. With Putin determined to stop NATO expansion on one side and the hot-headed Saakashvili seeking integration into Euro-Atlantic structures on the other, it is difficult to see where there could be a compromise.

What is clear is that all sides lost in the conflict. Georgia lost territory and civilians. Russia demonstrated its disregard for OSCE commitments not to change borders by force. NATO was shown to be weak and divided. The two breakaway republics received no recognition apart from Nicaragua.

Asmus is enough of a realist to recognise that there is zero chance of Georgia regaining Abhazia and South Ossietia in the foreseeable future. Patience and consolidation of Georgia as a proper democracy are the first requirements. But for the EU and US, Asmus has a clear message. The West needs to stand firm on the principles of the Paris Charter. There can be no backsliding on the fundamental values of democracy and human rights and no acceptance of special spheres of influence. Asmus is right, but will his message be heard?

8 февраля 2010: Российская правоохранительная система – приоритеты для изменений в новом десятилетии

19 Янв 2010
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There is growing disquiet in Europe and elsewhere, that democracy and civil liberties in Russia are being weakened. Increasing state control of the media and the judiciary, legislation restricting NGOs and politically-motivated judicial cases all give cause for concern. Furthermore, EU member states often undermine common EU positions on Russia, thus detracting from a strong EU voice in dealing with Russia.

The EU-Russia Centre is to co-host two events on subject of


which will feature key guest speaker

Ms Olga Borisovna Kudeshkina,

Former Judge of the Moscow City Court

Monday 8th February 2010, 6.00pm – 8.00pm

Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ

A seminar co-hosted by The Bar Human Rights Committee and the EU-Russia Centre


  • Ms Olga Borisovna Kudeshkina, Former Judge of the Moscow City Court
  • Mr Drew Holiner, the only barrister in England & Wales who is a qualified member of the Russian Bar, taking cases in both Russia and at the European Court of Human Rights


  • Professor Bill Bowring, Barrister, Executive Member of The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales,Professor of Law at Birkbeck College, University of London and member of EU-Russia Centre advisory board

Tuesday 9th February 2010, 4.00pm – 5.30pm

Grimond Room, Portcullis House

Bridge Street London, SW1A 2JH

A seminar co-hosted by The Parliamentary All Party Russia Group, The Foreign Policy Centre and the EU-Russia Centre


  • Ms Olga Borisovna Kudeshkina, Former Judge of the Moscow City Court
  • Professor Alena Ledeneva, Professor of Politics and Society at SSEES, University College London


  • Mr Bob Wareing MP, Secretary, All Party Parliamentary Russia Group

RSVP: Grace Drury, gd@eu-russiacentre.org


Olga Kudeshkina was a Russian judge for over 20 years until 2004 when, as a Moscow City Court Judge, she was dismissed over her statements to public media where she claimed to have come under pressure from the Moscow City Court chairman and the Prosecutor General’s Office in a high-profile criminal case. Subsequently, the European Court on Human Rights upheld Ms Kudeshkina’s complaint and ruled that her dismissal from office was a violation of the freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 10 of the Russian Constitution.

In 2003 Ms Kudeshkina stood as a candidate in the general election for seats in the Duma, the parliament of the Russian Federation and included a programme for reform of the judiciary on her platform.

Фрейзер Камерон дал интервью Виктору Макарову о Балтийском Форуме в статье “Мы можем только идти от меньшего к большему”

18 Янв 2010
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We can only go upwards

fraser_cameronFor the European Union there is no alternative but to work with Russia as it is, not trying to pretend it is something different.

An interview with Fraser Cameron, Director of the EU-Russia Center, Brussels, by Victor Makarov.

Where do you think the EU-Russia relations are today?

They are emerging form a very bad period. I think that now they can only go upwards. There have been a series of bilateral problems and there has been a backward trend in Russia towards authoritarian system. But now, with Poland and Lithuania having agreed on a common mandate, and with the new president of Russia, we have an opportunity to start moving forwards again. And the basic fundamental fact is that both sides are very dependent on each other and cannot escape from having a relationship. You can call it strategic or whatever you want, but a relationship has to exist between the EU and Russia, for all sorts of reasons.

But, today, is it not much more focused on specific interests? We negotiate the thing we need and we leave out the big questions, such as how do we conceptualize these relations?

We do that with nearly all our partners. We do not have a conceptual framework for the United States. We do not even have a legal framework for the US; we simply have sectoral agreements like air transport and open skies. So what we are trying to do with Russia, and, indeed, with China, is negotiate the most comprehensive agreement that EU has with any third country. Read more

Фрейзер Камерон дал интервью радио программе “Мир возможностей”

21 Дек 2009
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Fueled by rising revenues from its vast oil reserves, Russia is experiencing a sudden comeback from its economic and political collapse just sixteen years ago. This program will consider what Russia’s re-emergence as a global force could mean for the already diminishing constraints of arms control and for a renewed power struggle between Russia and the U.S. in an increasingly multi-polar world.

fraser-cameronClick here to listen to the full unedited interview of Fraser Cameron.

Other guest’s interviews.

Статья Фрейзера Камерона, директора Центра ЕС-Россия в издании “Мировой коммерческий обзор”

10 Дек 2009
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Europe and Russia: Moving to Win-Win
Fraser Cameron is the Director of the Eu-Russia Centre, an independent information and expertise resource for anyone interested in the relationship between EU and modern Russia.

The EU-Russia summit in Stockholm last month was a sober, stock-taking exercise. Trade, energy, climate change and the on-going EU-Russia negotiations for a new partnership agreements where the top items on the agenda. But it is safe to assume that the minds of the leaders were elsewhere.<…>

Read the full article in World Commerce Review (page 8)

Статья Фрейзера Камерона, директора Центра ЕС-Россия в издании “Ежедневный Китай”

07 Дек 2009
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What changes will Lisbon Treaty bring for EU

fraser-cameronThe China-European Union (EU) summit in Nanjing on Monday was the last such meeting under the rotating EU presidency (in this case Sweden). The very next day the Lisbon Treaty came into force.

Many diplomats and analysts are now asking whether it will change the way the EU conducts its business. Will the EU really become more coherent and visible in its foreign policy? What will be the impact of the appointments of two top EU leaders? Why were Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton chosen, especially when there were more prominent personalities like Tony Blair on offer?

Read the full article in China Daily

Статья Фрейзера Камерона, директора Центра ЕС-Россия в издании “Глобальная Европа”

02 Дек 2009
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A good messenger
What the new High Rep can achieve / A new European foreign policy?

With Catherine Ashton as the EU’s new foreign policy chief, and with the new institutional set-up introduced by the Lisbon treaty, will 2010 become the first year of a European foreign policy that deserves its name? Global Europe has put this question to a number of experts on EU foreign policy. Here is the response of Fraser Cameron, Director of the EU Russia Centre in Brussels.

Catherine Ashton’s appointment has not been well received in elite circles but the problem of European foreign policy is structural rather than one of personalities. This was well encapsulated in the comment by Bernard Kouchner that ‘the EU was looking for a messenger’ in appointing a new High representative. No doubt there were more high-profile candidates but why would they take a job that was defined as being merely the mouthpiece of the EU?

Read the full article in Global Europe

Фрейзер Камерон выступил в новостной программе телеканала Словении “Телевидение Словении”

01 Дек 2009
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fraser.cameronFraser Cameron appears on News Programme on Slovenian TV channel, Televizija Slovenija

Fraser Cameron, Director of the EU-Russia Centre, article in the Moscow Times

01 Дек 2009
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Moscow Should Feel the Impact of Lisbon Treaty

fraser-cameronOn Wednesday, the Lisbon Treaty enters into force, and many Russian diplomats and analysts are asking what will change in EU-Russia relations?

The short answer is not much, at least in the immediate future. The reason why Herman Van Rompuy was chosen as president of the Eurupean Council, the highest political body of the EU, and why Catherine Ashton was chosen as the EU’s high representative for foreign and security policy was that the member states wanted two low-key, consensus builders in these positions. They did not want strong personalities such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair stealing their thunder.

Read the full article in the Moscow Times

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